Now, chew tea and feel refreshed

Sunday, Feb 28, 2016,12:26 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Mumbai | ‘Chai’, the quintessential part of our daily life, is now getting popular in chewable form and has been also found to lessen the effects of nicotine among smokers. In some parts of Germany, people chew white tea leaves, which is a phenomena very similar to chewing ‘paan masala’ in India, to invigorate themselves, an Ooty-based Doddabetta Tea Factory and Tea Museum’s General Manager L Varadaraj told.

It was really quite interesting to know that people there in Germany use White Tea (silver tips tea), just like pan masala, for refreshment, said Varadaraj, whose factory exports White Tea in parts of the European country. White Tea variety is more costly in the tea industry.

The leaves are hand-plucked and sun-dried before being exported. Unlike other varieties, white leaves remain unprocessed, which is why, they have high quantity of anti-oxidants and even considered better than green tea in terms of health benefits, he said.

White tea is made out of the buds of tea and not from leaves. The consumers put it in mouth and chew it. It is also found to reduce the toxicity of nicotine among smokers, he said. On the art of bringing new blends for tea connoisseurs, he said a tea-taster has to identify the mistakes in its manufacturing, rectify it and give the best blend according to the requirement in the market.

The most interesting and intriguing aspect of tea tasting is infusion which should be always bright coppery or greenish yellow, the cup which is used for tea tasting should be bright, and especially for CTC (crush, tear and curl) teas. It should have good depth and after infusion, the edges of the cup should be yellowish. While sipping, the tea should have both heaviness and briskness. When added with milk, the tea should look bright.
Mellowness is the important aspect in tea tasting, he said.

Master tea-taster Sanjay Kapur, the owner of tea brand ‘Sancha’, said an experienced tea-taster will curate blends keeping in mind the sensibilities of his customers. From time-to-time, a blender will introduce new aromas and flavours to his customers to keep the excitement going. Likes and dislikes are always evolving, he said. The curator deals with the palate and aroma of his creations. The ingredients used determine the end product. The taster creates blends with ingredients which must appeal to the audience which it is being created for, he said.